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7 Thrilling Witness Protection Stories

June 27, 2017
Casey Nugent
Riveted Editorial Board

I’m a big fan of thrillers, particularly crime thrillers, so when I first heard about Becca Fitzpatrick’s Dangerous Lies I knew I had to read it. The synopsis is SO intriguing:

Stella Gordon’s life is a lie.

She does not belong in Thunder Basin, Nebraska. As the star witness in a murder trial against a drug dealer, Stella is now in the Witness Protection Program. The small town locals can never know who she really is. Not even Chet Falconer, the one boy who makes her want to reveal her true self. She knows that telling the truth will only bring violence to this safe haven.

Despite how hard Stella tries to stay under the radar, danger is fast-approaching. Criminals have a way of getting rid of witnesses, and Stella may have made the one mistake that could lead the cold-blooded men hunting for her right to her doorstep.

How could you not get sucked in by that premise? A girl who’s forced to live a lie to protect herself? Danger lurking behind every corner? A love interest named Chet Falconer? I was in. And I wasn’t disappointed. This is a sexy, tightly wound thriller that will you have turning until the last page. The concept of being trapped in witness protection is such a great one, it allows for multiple layers of drama within a story—the inherent difficulty of keeping up a new personality and a new name, the fact that you’re forced to lie to everyone you meet, the possibility that the people you’re hiding from will find you anyway (Which of course always happens). It’s a perfect formula for interesting and exciting stories.

Now that I’ve finished reading Dangerous Lies, I dug around to find more witness-protection based stories to fill the void in my heart. Here are seven stories that bring the laughs, the drama, and—of course—the romance. Check out Dangerous Lies as a free read until July 3rd, and then check out these movies, tv shows, and books! And let me know your favorite witness protection stories in the comments!


1

SISTER ACT

In this classic comedy movie (turned hit-Broadway-musical), Whoopi Goldberg plays Deloris Van Cartier, a singer in the club owned by her mobster boyfriend in Reno, Nevada. When Dolores accidentally witnesses her boyfriend killing someone, she’s forced to go into protective custody in San Francisco — as a nun. I am not kidding when I say this movie has everything — an action plot, a choir of gospel-singing nuns, and Harry Potter’s own Dame Maggie Smith as the Mother Superior.


TheRulesForDisappearing

THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING by Ashley Rose Eaton

Megan Rose Jones wasn’t always Megan Rose Jones. She’s been six different people in six different places — Meg is just the newest name, complete with a new town and a new hair color. Meg doesn’t know what her father did to land them both in witness protection, and she’s chaffing against the rules that she’s forced to live by. Determined to free herself from exile, she teams up with local boy Ethan, who knows she’s hiding something big, and the two of them discover that the journey to freedom is more perilous than either thought.


OurLipsOurSealed

OUR LIPS ARE SEALED

In this Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen movie, the twins play Maddie and Abby Parker who witness the robbery of a precious diamond and are put into witness protection to protect themselves from notorious (and unfortunately named) gang leader Hatchew. Unfortunately, Maddie and Abby are incapable of keeping their mouths shut, leading to them having to be relocated over, and over, and over again. Eventually they wind up in Australia, where they struggle with fitting in. But that’s the least of their problems when Hatchew’s gang men show up in Sydney to finish them off.


ShadowLands1

SHADOWLANDS by Kate Brian

Rory Miller is one of only two people to escape being captured by the serial killer Steven Nell. With him on the loose, the police are convinced he’ll do to her what he did to the last girl who escaped — break into her house and kill her and her family. So Rory’s forced to go into witness protection with her father and sister at Juniper Landing, a beautiful vacation-destination island. At first, things are wonderful, with Rory making new friends and spending carefree days at the beach. But then her friends start disappearing, and Rory starts to wonder if her nightmare is beginning again.


InPlainSight

IN PLAIN SIGHT

This USA TV show follows Mary Shannon, a United States Marshal who works in the Albuquerque office of the Federal Witness Protection program. The show follows Mary as she deals with the multiple witnesses she’s tasked with protecting, as well as with her own occasionally tumultuous personal life with her mother and sister. Unlike most witness protection narratives, In Plain Sight goes more in depth into what’s behind the scenes of the witness protection program, and gives more of a focal point to the people running the show than to those being protected.


Don'tLookBehindYou

DON’T LOOK BEHIND YOU by Lois Duncan

High school junior April Corrigan has it all — she’s the star of her school’s tennis team, is smart and popular, and is dating senior Steve Chandler. But that all changes when her father, who’s testifying in a drug smuggling case, gets shot at in the courtroom. April’s FBI agent uncle decides it’s best to relocate the whole family for the remainder of the trial. April quickly grows bored, and frustrated when she realizes that life in her old town is moving on without her. But her plan to get back home might put the people she loves in grave danger. 


FakeID
FAKE ID by Lamar Giles

For the past few years, “Nick Pearson” and his family have been in witness protection, avoiding the mafia leader his father betrayed. But Nick’s father has a penchant for getting back in trouble, so the family is continually forced to relocate. They end in Stepton, Virignia, where Nick befriends Eli, the editor of the school paper, and Eli’s beautiful twin sister Reya. But when Eli stumbles upon a big conspiracy and turns up dead, Nick has to choose between keeping the low-profile witness protection demands of him, or teaming up with Reya to get to the bottom of what’s going on.